Tag Archives: federal

State’s Giving Feds Trolling Rights to DMV Facial Biometric Databases

Biometrics getting personal

Kaye Beach

June 17, 2013

The Washington Post published what is probably one of the most comprehensive and clear (major media) articles to date on the state departments of motor vehicles’ biometric databases and how they are increasingly being utilized to undermine the presumption of innocence and rob us of our right to be left alone.

State photo-ID databases become troves for police

“Facial-recognition systems are more pervasive and can be deployed remotely, without subjects knowing that their faces have been captured.   Today’s driver’s-license databases, which also include millions of images of people who get non-driver ID cards to open bank accounts or board airplanes, typically were made available for police searches with little public notice.”

The Washington Post reports;

“Thirty-seven states now use ­facial-recognition technology in their driver’s-license registries, a Washington Post review found. At least 26
of those allow state, local or federal law enforcement agencies to search — or request searches — of photo databases. . .”

The Washington Post also notes that;

“The current version of the Senate’s immigration bill would dramatically expand an electronic photo-verification system, probably relying on access to driver’s-license registries.”

The New York Times reported on this a few days ago;

WASHINGTON — Driver’s license photographs and biographic information of most Americans would be accessible through an expanded Department of Homeland Security nationwide computer network if the immigration legislation pending before the Senate becomes law.

. . . the Senate bill would direct the department to expand the photo program by offering grants to states if they allow the department to tap into their driver’s license photo records

Read more; Fears of National ID With Immigration Bill

The Constitutional Alliance first sounded  the alarm on April 17th;

“If you want to work, travel, buy, or sell you will be forced to be enrolled into this global system of identification.” 

Read more from the Constitutional Alliance; You are being enrolled into a global identity scheme which controls your ability to buy, sell, travel and now work !!!

Our government is working diligently to ‘connect the dots’  We need to do the same – please read the Washington Post’s article on the state’s biometric databases along with  the ones linked above.

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Oklahoma SB36 – This is NOT What Local Control Looks Like!

Big Momma Tells a Story

Big Momma Tells a Story

Kaye Beach

Feb. 18, 2013

In my earlier post on this subject yesterday, I urged you to send emails and make calls to the General Government Committee before 10:30 AM Monday Morning.

Oklahoma Action Alert!  Big Momma Gov. Wants ‘Local Control’ SB36

Please do send those emails and make those calls because no matter how you slice it, this bill does not pass muster.

Take for example, the fact that this bill is being sold to us as a “local control” bill.  That sounds great!  We are all for local control right?

Well, Big Momma Gov. knows that, baby!  She knows how your little mind works and thats why Big Momma went and reframed this issue for you in a way that was sure to go down sweet.

Reframing is a nice word.  Since there is no way that casting a FEDERAL INITIATIVE into state law equals LOCAL CONTROL, some might call it a LIE!

Here’s the bottom line;

SB36 is really a FEDERAL INITIATIVE marketed to you as “LOCAL CONTROL”! 

Isn’t that neat?  If your intelligence isn’t insulted, it should be.

federal initiative local control sb36 2

links from graphic

“Healthy People 2020 objective (TU-16) calls for eliminating state laws that preempt any type of local tobacco control law”

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6033a2.htm?mobile=nocontent

Healthy People 2020 State Specific Plans http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/implement/StateSpecificPlans.aspx

Healthy People 2020 Oklahoma Plan http://www.ok.gov/strongandhealthy/documents/OHIP-viewing.pdf

Once again contact the General Government Committee before 10:30 AM and tell them that SB36

-Violates rights of property owners
-Violates consumers right to choose

AND
State standards already protect health of non smokers. (by requiring businesses to install what amounts to a BSL 3 area for smokers.  These are expensive, negative pressure, separate ventilation system rooms for smoking patrons!)

AND 

“Private property owners should be free to allow smoking or not.
Those who wish to smoke can patronize places that cater to smokers.
Those who don’t will have places that seek their business. That’s how
the free market works.”
(Hat tip to Rob Abeira from Oklahomans for Individual Rights https://www.facebook.com/OKRights )

AND

SB36 is a FEDERAL INITIATIVE masqurading as LOCAL CONTROL!

Please contact the members of the General Government Committee by email and phone if you can and tell them NO on SB36!

GENERAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE

Email grouping for Gen. Gov. Committee

Treat@oksenate.gov; ballenger@oksenate.gov; aldridge@oksenate.gov; Dahm@oksenate.gov; ellis@oksenate.gov; johnsonr@oksenate.gov ; loveless@oksenate.gov; marlatt@oksenate.gov

Phone Numbers

  • Senator Greg Treat – R – Chair   – 405-521-5632 –
  • Senator Roger  Ballenger – D – Vice Chair  405-521-5588
  • Senator Cliff  Aldridge – R – 405-521-5584
  • Senator Nathan  Dahm – R – 405-521-5551
  • Senator Jerry Ellis – D  – 405-521-5614
  • Senator Rob Johnson –  R – 405-521-5592
  • Senator Kyle  Loveless – R – 405-521-5618
  • Senator Bryce  Marlatt – R – 405-521-5626

If you care to watch the General Government Committee meeting where they will debate and vote on SB36, you can do so here http://oksenate.gov/meetingview-511a.htm at 10:30 AM.

REAL ID-Great for Gun Control and a whole lot more!

Kaye Beach

Oct. 16, 2012

Prescient words from 2008;

The long-term plan for REAL ID is to force its biometric ID functions on federal, state, local and private entities for all transactions. Thus, ID confirmation by a distant bureaucracy becomes permission for essential daily activities including banking, doctor visits, transit, school attendance and purchases — including guns.

. . .By participating in REAL ID, Pennsylvanians will be subjected to scrutiny by a host of federal agencies with every swipe of a REAL ID card. This is de facto gun registration, only worse. Once a gun buyer is identified, other information such as military service, purchases, rentals, travel, and medical history will be easily cross-referenced and subjected to interpretation. It’s inevitable that politicized standards will emerge that can be used to deny Pennsylvanians the right to keep and bear arms — everyone except violent criminals and politicians’ bodyguards.

Read more

Yesterday was the deadline for states to notify the Dept. of Homeland Security as to whether or not they will be in material compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005.

The deadline for compliance with the REAL ID Act has been moved up three times since the law was passed.  Now we have almost reached the final deadline.

DHS expressed confidence at the end of August this year that all states would be in significant compliance with the law by Jan. 15 2013, the final deadline for state compliance for REAL ID.

“All 56 states have submitted some documentation of their status with respect to the material compliance benchmarks or “elements” of REAL ID to DHS since 2009. On the basis of the total dataset of states reporting, all states meet or commit to meet 83 percent of the material compliance benchmarks, which DHS believes may understate state progress.”

Americans have taken note of the fact that demands for ID and even the swiping of their driver’s license has exploded.  Now that resistance by the states to the national/international ID card has been largely overcome – watch out!  REAL ID will be increasingly required for just about every thing you need, including guns.

This is what REAL ID was made for.

Remember 25 states passed either a law or resolution prohibiting the implementation of REAL ID, including the great state of Oklahoma.  But they have just about pulled it off anyways.  Oklahoma is a mere 1 benchmark away from material compliance.  And other states are seeing “stars”

Back in 2009, Mayors Against Illegal Guns were already smacking their lips at the prospect of using REAL ID for gun control.

Recommendation 3: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should require REAL ID-compliant identification for all gun purchases after December 1, 2014.  read more

One little known fact about REAL ID is that there is no statutory limit on “official purposes” that the REAL ID can be required for. (There are currently three official purposes; boarding a commercial airliner, entering a federal building and nuclear facility)  What this means is that the Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security has unfettered authority to add anything she likes to official purposes that require a REAL ID.  That could be guns, ammo, prescriptions . . . anything.

Read more about REAL ID

REAL ID- MORE Than Just Drivers License Control and Expanding Rapidly

How close is Oklahoma to Real ID? Much, Much Closer Than It Ought To Be

Kaye Beach

September 14, 2012

Have you noticed the flurry of activity related to Oklahoma’s driver’s licenses?  Did your Real ID radar begin to ping?

A Google photo search for “new driver’s license design” shows that many states, like Oklahoma, are getting new driver’s license designs.  And like Oklahoma, the photos are all moved to the left.  This isn’t a DMV fad.   These standards come from somewhere.  —  2012 AAMVA North American Standard – DL/ID Card Design

“AAMVA (the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators) is called the “backbone” and hub” of the Real ID Act in the final rules issued by DHS” Mark Lerner, testimony before the Michigan House of Representatives, 2008

Several news items were released last week about some changes coming to Oklahoma’s driver’s licenses.

Oklahoma Rolls Out New Driver License and Upgraded Issuance System by MorphoTrust Sep 06, 2012 by Business Wire

“The new license meets rigorous security requirements and will not only upgrade our system but enhance customer service as well,” said Michael C. Thompson, Commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.

Oklahoma driver’s license will get makeover

Repositioned photograph is among changes to be rolled out over next several months for Oklahoma driver’s license

“They totally redesigned the system to where it’s going to be faster for the operator, which will speed up the line of people waiting at the tag agencies and exam offices.”

These news items were primed by many articles released over the last couple of months regarding the horrendous waits driver’s license applicants are forced to undergo in our state since The number of examiners at licensing offices statewide decreased from 152 in 2009 to 105 this year. The number of testing sites has been reduced from 89 to 36 in a decade’

Long lines drive push to help Oklahoma driver’s license exam sites

At this point, Oklahomans are frustrated and the news of any changes that could help speed up the process are sure to be greeted with a huge sigh of relief and little scrutiny.

A little scrutiny is in order.

The deadline for meeting the standards of the REAL ID Act is January 15, 2013.

The Real ID Act passed in 2005 imposed federal guidelines that use  INTERNATIONAL standards for state driver’s licenses and ID documents

REAL ID licenses are to be

•machine readable
•contain biometric data

(including facial biometrics)

This and other information is to be shared

•nationally
•internationally

There are 18 initial benchmarks (39 benchmarks total) to the Real ID Act of 2005 that, once they are achieved, a state can consider to be in “material compliance” with the Act.  A state is in “full compliance” with the Real ID Act upon meeting all 39 of the benchmarks.

Once material compliance is achieved a state may request to be able to place a gold star on their state license to indicate that the card is acceptable for “federal identification purposes” from the DHS.

Spring of this year seven states were named as being the naughty foot draggers regarding meeting the 18 Real ID benchmarks. Oklahoma is listed as one of those laggard seven states and for good reason-our state passed a law prohibiting implementation of the federal Real ID Act in 2008. 

Oklahoma – OKLA. STAT. ANN, tit. 47, § 6-110.3 (2007) (The State of Oklahoma shall not participate in the implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005. The Department of Public Safety is hereby directed not to implement the provisions of the REAL ID Act of 2005 and to report to the Governor and the Legislature any attempt by agencies or agents of the United States Department of Homeland Security to secure the implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005 through the operations of that or any other state department. . .

The President of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License took it upon himself to help the Department of Homeland Security pressure and threaten these last remaining rebel states:

“It’s their last opportunity to get on board with the REAL ID rules or face consequences. . . . REAL ID is no longer a policy matter, the REAL ID debate is over.  REAL ID is now part of DHS’ ongoing operations.”
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1bIrU)

What are the “consequences” of not having a Real ID?  Here is what we are told;

“In the future, only those state issued Driver Licenses and Identification cards which are fully compliant with the REAL ID act of 2005 will be authorized for use as identification for official federal government purposes, such as boarding commercial aircraft and entering certain regulated federal facilities.” Alabama DMV-STAR ID

Does this mean we won’t be able to fly?  In a word-no.  We will still be able to fly.   A passport will work as well as a military ID.  Of course any government issued photo ID means biometrics and carries with it the some of the same concerns as Real ID.  Any lesser ID may require secondary screening procedures, but you can fly without a Real ID.  As far as the federal buildings.  That will be interesting.  Barring US citizens from certain federal building will probably set off a constitutional showdown.

Oklahoma was not alone in their opposition to the Real ID Act.  At least 25 states passed a law or resolution prohibiting the implementation of Real ID in their states.  This was a historic level of rebellion and one that both red and blue states participated.

At least 13 (the National Conference of State Legislatures recognizes 16) states passed an actual law against Real ID but we know from Congressional documents that some of these states are quietly issuing Real ID compliant driver’s licenses anyways.

Thirteen states have laws prohibiting compliance with the REAL ID Act. Even so, DHS believes that some of these states already issue secure identification documents consistent with the standards of the regulation.  Link

These states may not sign up for the gold star just yet, but with a wink and a nod, they are just as surely undermining the will of the people by meeting the first 18 benchmarks of Real ID.  To state it simply, these states are positioned to do the bidding of the Department of Homeland Security by meeting the requirements of the Real ID Act while retaining plausible deniability about violating their states’ law that prohibits implementation of the Real ID Act.

At least nineteen states are now in compliance with the Act.   Twenty-six more are reported to have committed to meet the standards before the (new) deadline. (Dec. 1, 2014) link

So where does Oklahoma stand on the 18 (Real ID) benchmarks?

I will show you that Oklahoma is merely one benchmark away from compliance with this international ID scheme that caused an unprecedented uproar by the states following its introduction in 2005.

Oklahoma has progressed from meeting 9 of these benchmarks in 2008 to currently meeting 14 of the 18 Real ID benchmarks. (3 of the benchmarks pertain to formalizing commitment by the state to REAL ID.  State’s that have passed a law prohibiting Real ID implementation are forgiven these benchmarks by the Dept. of Homeland Security.  That is the “wink and a nod” Do in reality, Oklahoma is really only one benchmark away from being considered Real ID compliant.)

Real ID benchmarks 1-6

Real ID Benchmarks 7-15

Real ID Benchmarks 16-18

 

Doesn’t appear that the law prohibiting implementation of the provisions of Real ID slowed us down much, does it?

Some of these 18 benchmarks are sensible measures that many states were already working on prior to Real ID anyways.

However, benchmark Number 1 is a REAL problem!

Benchmark #1. “Mandatory facial image capture and retention of such image.”

Let me explain briefly why:  the digital facial photo is a biometric suitable for use with facial recognition software.  In fact, facial biometrics is the governments biometric of choice.  Why?  It is not the most accurate biometric for identification purposes but it does allow us to be identified in public without our knowledge or consent.  Never mind that we have the right to go about our business, as long as we are not a criminal or suspect, without be investigated.  The Supreme Court has upheld our right to anonymity on several occasions in recent history.

Here is just one example;

Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority … It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation–and their ideas from suppression–at the hand of an intolerant society.”

McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n, 514 U.S. 334

The inaccuracy of facial recognition could cause anyone to be misidentified which would introduce the unfortunate person host of unpleasant possibilities.  But, I suppose, it is ‘good enough for government work,’ as they say.  But it gets even worse.

After the initial 18 benchmarks are met, the states will proceed to implement the next 21 benchmarks, step by step enrolling us into a global biometric identity system.

“The main ideology for defining the design of the DL/ID is the minimum acceptable set of requirements to guarantee global interoperability. “

Source: Personal Identification – AAMVA North American Standard – DL/ID Card Design, 2012

Myself as well as many other policy watchers that care to know, have been warning for years that our government intends to use those DL photos, conveniently combined with our personal, biographical information to not just identify us in public absent of any specific, articulable suspicion; they intend to use our facial biometrics to investigate and even predict based on the associated data- whether we are more or less likely to present a threat to government.  As of late, these intentions have been loosed from obscure, seldom read government documents and have been printed in black and white for the world to see.

In addition to scanning mugshots for a match, FBI officials have indicated that they are keen to track a suspect by picking out their face in a crowd.

Another application would be the reverse: images of a person of interest from security cameras or public photos uploaded onto the internet could be compared against a national repository of images held by the FBI. An algorithm would perform an automatic search and return a list of potential hits for an officer to sort through and use as possible leads for an investigation.

New Scientist, September 7, 2012 FBI launches $1 billion face recognition project

And then this-a first-law enforcement admits to using facial recognition on protestors in public.

Computer World: Undercover cops secretly use smartphones, face recognition to spy on crowds

And this one from June 16, 2013,  the Washington Post:

State photo-ID databases become troves for police

Oklahoma residents who prefer to not be enrolled into this biometric identification system ought to be asking their representatives why the state is continuing in the fulfillment of the Real ID Act in spite of the law which clearly expresses the will of the people to not participate in the international biometric identity scheme.

 

June 25, 2012, City of Norman 2060 Strategic Water Supply Plan Public Meeting 7PM-9PM

Kaye Beach

June 24, 2012

2060 Strategic Water Supply Plan Public Meeting Link

Agenda

 

                                                                                                                                        

Just Released-

REGIONAL RAW WATER SUPPLY STUDY – FINAL REPORT

Presentation

You can view a video overview of the water planning issues.

Mentioned in that video is the Oklahoma Water Regional Trust.  Here is a Power Point presentation about the creation of that Trust from 2010. Oklahoma Regional Water Utility Trust Presentation-1

THE FEDS WANT TO TAKE YOUR CAR! Randal O’Toole’s Transportation Newsletter

Kaye Beach

May 21, 2012

I don’t necessarily agree with O’Toole on everything here.  For example,He urges the creation of ” quasi-governmental toll road authorities” such as the ones in assistance today in Florida and Texas.  O’Toole notes that these entities are politically well insulated.  O’Toole see this as a plus but customer complaints like this one make me a little skeptical.

Lots of good info here though!

 

THE FEDS WANT TO TAKE YOUR CAR!              May 20, 2012

Randal O’Toole’s transportation newsletter

TRANSPORTATION REAUTHORIZATION IN CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

On May 8, members of the House and Senate conference committee started meeting to debate the surface transportation reauthorization bills. Normally, conference committees meet when the two houses of Congress pass different bills, but the 884-page House bill (H.R. 7) never made it to the House floor due to objections from fiscal conservatives who claimed it had too much pork in it (as well as objections from Republicans in transit-heavy cities such as New York and Chicago). But the real pork can be found in the 1,674-page Senate bill, known as MAP-21 (S. 1813).

Among other things, the Senate bill includes:
* A continuation of payments to national forest counties to make up for lost revenues due to reduced timber sales;
* A seven-year extension of the Land & Water Conservation Fund to buy more lands for the Forest Service and Department of the Interior;
* A brand-new National Endowment for the Oceans, Coasts and Great Lakes.

Of course, these have nothing to do with transportation and everything to do with politicians trying to tack their favorite projects onto a bill that Congress has to eventually pass.

In the area of transportation, the House bill is actually the most fiscally conservative transportation reauthorization bill passed out of any committee in 35 years. The bill includes no earmarks (a feature of transportation bills since 1982) and minimal deficit spending. While it does spend about $5 billion more per year than gas tax revenues, this is a huge reduction from the existing law, which as of 2009 was spending $10 billion to $15 billion more than revenues. The Senate bill continues spending at 2009 levels, which means about $15 billion in annual deficits.

From a transportation view, there are many differences between the two. The House bill continues the Small Starts program (transit capital grants of up to $75 million) that the administration wants to use to fund streetcars all over the place (see below). The Senate bill never mentions Small Starts. The Senate bill also allows “New Starts” money (which the bill calls “fixed guideway capital investment grants”) to be used to maintain existing rail lines as well as build new ones. Since the nation’s rail transit systems suffer from about a $60 billion maintenance backlog, it is better to spend on maintenance than build new lines we can’t afford to maintain.

The Senate bill also includes three amendments raised by New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman designed to kill public-private partnerships. One would prevent private road partners from using the same depreciation schedules used by all other industries; a second would prevent the from using tax-exempt private activity bonds that other infrastructure companies can use; the third excludes public-private roads from a state’s total road mileage when calculating a state’s share of federal highway funds. All of these demonstrate the hostility of Senate Democrats to market-based transportation.

The good news is that the conferees have said they will treat the House bill equal with the Senate one even though the House bill never actually passed the House. The bad news is that many if not most of the conferees are more attracted to pork than to fiscal conservatism. On the House side, Republicans include House Transportation Committee chair John Mica (who often said he would have passed a more fiscally liberal bill were it not for the tea party members of Congress), former chair Don Young (who wrote the 2005 bill that included more than 7,000 earmarks), and likely future chair Bill Shuster (whose father was one of the biggest pork barrelers in Congress). Democrats include Oregon representatives Earl Blumenauer (who wrote the Small Starts law) and Peter DeFazio (who objects to any new roads, especially if they are privately funded).

Even if the Senate bill passes, it will expire in less than 18 months, so the next session of Congress can begin the debate all over again. But it would be better if it did not pass because it will start several new programs and expand other programs that will be harder to kill in the next bill. It seems like the best fiscal conservatives can hope for is more gridlock.

Links:
List of Senate conferees: http://tinyurl.com/6mobbqz
List of House conferees: http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=6466
House bill: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr7rh/pdf/BILLS-112hr7rh.pdf
Senate bill: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s1813es/pdf/BILLS-112s1813es.pdf
Bill Shuster likely next chair: http://tinyurl.com/7ow32ku

COMING SOON TO A CITY NEAR YOU: STREETCARS

Streetcars are a completely obsolete technology that do nothing to enhance urban mobility. Advocates want to build them because, they claim, streetcars lead to economic development. If that were true, they should be funded out of economic development funds, not out of transportation dollars.

Yet the Obama administration is eager to hand out transportation grants for streetcars in cities all over the country. It has already given transportation stimulus funds for streetcars to Atlanta, Cincinnati, Dallas, Salt Lake City, and Tucson. It gave $75 million in Small Starts transit funds to Portland. But Small Starts rules written during the Bush administration require that cities prove that streetcars are more cost-effective than buses at saving people time, something that is impossible to do. (Portland got around the rules by using the political muscle of Oregon’s Congressional delegation.)

The Obama administration wants to change the rules, and cities are lining up to hand in their grant proposals as soon as the final rules go into effect: Albuquerque, Austin, Detroit, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and San Antonio are just a few of the cities that have completed or are currently doing the required environmental analyses to build federally funded streetcars.

These cities have been scammed by consulting firms that claim huge economic development benefits from streetcars. In fact, no city that has built streetcars have generated any economic development unless the city accompanied that streetcar with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of other subsidies and the neighborhood in which the streetcar was located was already growing.

For example, Portland’s streetcar, which opened in 2001, went through two neighborhoods in Northwest Portland, and city officials brag that after it was built, developers invested nearly $1.4 billion into these neighborhoods. Developers in one of the neighborhoods, known as the Pearl District, received about $450 million in subsidies, and here they invested more than $1.3 billion in more than 50 projects. A similarly sized neighborhood in Northwest Portland received no subsidies, and developers invested only $17.6 million in seven projects. Clearly, developers followed the subsidies, not the streetcar.

On or about June 14, the Cato Institute will publish my detailed analysis of the streetcar fad. In the meantime, this is one good reason why Congress should take all competitive grant programs out of the transportation bill and allocate funds exclusively using formulas.

Links:
My comments on proposed rules: http://tinyurl.com/7zkon9t
Pro-streetcar group: http://www.modernstreetcar.org/

VEHICLE-MILE PRICING: AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME; BUT HOW?

Everyone knows the gas tax is on its way out. Due to inflation and more fuel-efficient cars, we only pay one-third as much for every mile we drive as people paid in 1956, when Congress created the Interstate Highway System. Cars are getting more fuel-efficient all the time and electric cars, if they ever become significant, will only make the problem worse.

Raising the gas tax could solve part of this problem, but not all of it. For one thing, gas taxes are collected by the federal and state governments, but few local governments collect gas taxes. Though most states share their gas tax revenues with cities and counties, it isn’t enough, so local governments must find about $30 billion a year in general funds to support roads.

A second, even bigger, problem is that gas taxes don’t properly price roads, and the $100-billion-plus annual congestion cost is the result. While economists have long advocated congestion pricing of roads, people don’t like to “pay twice” for roads. So many fiscal conservatives have promoted the idea of building new HOT (high-occupancy/toll) lanes parallel to existing congested roads, both to give people a congestion-free option and to demonstrate the benefits of congestion pricing.

The problem with HOT lanes is they only solve part of the problem with congestion. Congestion begins when too many vehicles try to drive on a road, exceeding the road’s maximum capacity. But congestion continues long after the number of vehicles fall below the maximum capacity because, at slow speeds, the capacity of the road actually declines. Preventing the decline in capacity through congestion pricing of all lanes would save Americans billions of hours and billions of gallons of fuel a year.

In a new paper published by the Cato Institute last week, I propose to solve all of these problems at once by replacing gas taxes with vehicle-mile fees. Since the gas taxes are eliminated, no one will be paying twice. Eliminating the congestion will save drivers and businesses tens or hundreds of billions of dollars. Replacing gas taxes with vehicle-mile fees will also effectively devolve transportation decisions to the state and local level. This can be done on a state-by-state basis, though the states should coordinate with one another so they use compatible technologies.

The paper also urges that states and counties create quasi-governmental toll road authorities that collect the fees and spend them exclusively on roads. Such toll road authorities in Texas, Florida, and other states have proven to be well-insulated from politics, and they act almost as efficiently as private road providers. Replacing gas taxes with mileage fees would effectively devolve transportation to the local level.

Oregon has demonstrated that vehicle-mile fees can be collected without invading traveler’s privacy. The system tested by Oregon had people pay fees when they purchased gas. A GPS unit on their car told the gas pump how much drivers owed for the roads they used, but not exactly when or what roads they used. Minnesota is doing a similar test, and similar systems could be designed using cell phones or other wireless devices.

Congestion is a terrible burden on society, while local subsidies to highways politicize transportation and lend support to inane projects such as streetcars. Replacing gas taxes with vehicle-mile fees in a way that will protect traveler privacy should be the top priority for those who want to improve our transportation systems and devolve decisions to the local level.

Links:
My Cato paper: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/PA695.pdf
Mileage Based User Fee Alliance: http://mbufa.org/
Oregon’s experiment: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/RUFPP/mileage.shtml
Minnesota’s experiment: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/mileagebaseduserfee/studies.html

HOUSEKEEPING

You can view previous issues of this newsletter at http://ti.org/pipermail/thefedswantyourcar_ti.org/

.

Best,

Randal
The Antiplanner
P. O. Box 76
Camp Sherman, Oregon 97730
541-595-1460
541-588-0518 cell
http://ti.org/antiplanner

Who Owns the Fusion Centers?

Kaye Beach

Jan 15, 2012

Part II

This is Part II of my ongoing dissertation on Fusion Centers and the work they do.  You can read Part I, Intelligence Led Policing and Fusion Centers: How the IACP Helped the USA to Cross the Rubicon, which dealt with the flawed and dangerous philosophy of preemptive or Intelligence Led Policing that makes the whole domestic terrorism apparatus, including fusion centers such a threat to the liberties of everyone.

In Part II I am going to explain what the centers really do and who is in control of them and how.

Fusion Centers-State of Federal?

It is all about collecting the data and getting it to the federal government.  The most important function of Fusions Centers is also the most invisible portion of their work; the computer networks and information sharing that takes place through those networks.

Despite claims that the Fusion Centers were created by the states, the truth is that the modern day fusion centers were born of policy established at the federal level and they are largely funded, staffed and  trained by representatives of federal agencies.  The federal government likes to claim that the states are partners with the federal government in this and other programs like it.

Question: If I set the rules and I pay the bills and I own the house that you are currently residing in, are you really my partner?

Answer: only to the degree that I am willing to pretend that you are.

When it comes to state fusion centers, the federal government has been paying the bills, they set the rules and they own the house.

Paying the Bills-Federal Funding

Since 2003 the Department of Homeland Security has given $31 billion dollars to the state and local governments.

3.8 billion was given to the states in 2010 alone.  The programs funded by the DHS, largely focus on countering terrorism but also on natural and man-made disasters are required to be tuned to DHS dictates.  According to the Government Accountability Office, Fusion centers have been received $426 million in general grant funding from fiscal 2004 through fiscal 2009.  Stating the obvious about money and control, “You take the king’s shilling, you become the king’s man”—Tom Cole

This  news article published Nov 27, 2011, Oklahoma’s fusion center has a broad role these daysmakes who is paying the bills pretty clear.

Oklahoma’s federally funded information fusion center has a broader role today than it did when it began operations four years ago.

. . .Oklahoma’s fusion center is housed inside the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation‘s headquarters, 6600 N Harvey Place, and includes a secured room where secret information from the federal government is received.
. . .A central office includes a small room filled with monitors and TV screens, relaying data to an analyst. Its operations are funded, for the most part, by grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Stenhouse said the federal agency provided Oklahoma’s fusion center with about $400,000, which he said was used to pay the salaries of four analysts and training purposes. (All emphasis mine) Read more: http://newsok.com/oklahomas-fusion-center-has-a-broad-role-these-days./article/3626735#ixzz1i4z2ZOBQ

Oklahoma has received hundreds of millions of dollars in Homeland Security funds since 911 and the state understands who is in charge even if the officials choose to dance around the truth with the public.

The following is from the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center’s “Privacy Policy.”  It is clearly stated that the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security oversees the initiatives and mandates of the federal Department of Homeland Security-including our state’s fusion center.

OKOHS (Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security) is directed to continue their efforts in combating terrorism, and shall continue to oversee the implementation of any and all initiatives or efforts mandated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, including the development of a state information fusion center. (Emphasis mine)Read more

 

Federal Personnel Staff state fusion centers-.  According to the Government Accountability Office Report, as of July 2010, the DHS has deployed 58 personnel to fusion centers, and the FBI has deployed 74 personnel to fusion centers.

Setting the Rules

In 2008 we learned that the federal government has no qualms about yanking those strings attached hard and that includes subverting state law intended to protect the citizens of that state in the process.  The Fusion Centers have a job to do and that job requires some changes to be made to pesky state laws meant to provide residents with openness to,  and oversight of,  their government.

EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg said, “the FBI memorandum indicates that the federal government is attempting to shroud the Virginia Fusion Center in secrecy and prevent meaningful public oversight. Virginia citizens deserve an open and transparent state government that is not constrained by federal secrecy policies.”

http://epic.org/press/041108.html

Through the litigation, EPIC uncovered a secret contract between the State Police and the FBI that limits the rights of Virginia citizens to learn what information the State Police collect about them.

http://epic.org/privacy/virginia_fusion/


Fusion centers may be physically located in the states but their guts belong to Homeland Security! 

If you think of Fusion Centers as a place you will miss what the centers are really about.  Fusion Centers are part of a domestic intelligence system and the guts of the fusion centers are the data networks.

The federal government (guided all the way by the International Association of Chiefs of Police) defined the fusion centers and their processed from the start. They drew up the map.

“The National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, developed by Global in partnership with the IACP, is the first of its kind in this country — and promises to bring us closer to achieving the goal, expressed at your 2002 Summit, of “intelligence-led policing.” . . . it serves as a “roadmap” for our national criminal intelligence sharing initiatives.” –THE HONORABLE DEBORAH J. DANIELS

The question of whether or not these institutions are state or federal entities is a moot point.  Though they physically reside in the states, the federal government aside from defining, funding and staffing the centers, also controls the data networks and they set the standards for how data is collected and shared.

Federal standards equal federal control

Standards are important if you want to:

  • SHARE DATA (speak the same language)

Standards Provide

  • On-demand real time data access

 Navigating the Standards Landscape

A Nationwide Network

You know what is worse for you privacy ant autonomy that a central database?  A distributed network of databases that are constantly updated that the central government can reach into at will.

The DHS intelligence analysis center or the DCI’s counterterrorist center do not need to accumulate and hold all relevant databases to which they may gain access. In other words, there is no need to build one big data warehouse. Instead, the centers should interface with such databases as needed.

—Markle Foundation Task Force Report 2002

Owning the House

In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and Global jointly published a supplement to the Fusion Center Guidelines called Baseline Capabilities Baseline Capabilities defines the capabilities needed to create a nationwide network of fusion centers and sets forth the minimum standards for a fusion center to be able to perform basic functions. 

The Department of Homeland Security set out an objective to create a network of fusions centers as a unique law enforcement and threat information resource that works across jurisdictions and is supported by multidisciplinary teams dispersed throughout a national network of information hives. Source EPIC

“. . .Fusion Centers will be the centerpiece of state, local, federal intelligence-sharing for the future and that the Department of Homeland Security will be working and aiming its programs to underlie Fusion Centers.” –DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano March 13, 2009

http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/speeches/sp_1236975404263.shtm


Jurisdiction

The Fusion Center Guidelines states that, “nontraditional collectors of intelligence, such as public safety entities and private sector organizations” will be “fused’ with law enforcement data”   The goal is to break down traditional barriers to information sharing. 

These barriers are commonly referred to as “siloes” or “stovepipes”

Those “silos” or barriers can also be thought of as jurisdictions.

From the Legal Information Institute;

Jurisdiction-The term jurisdiction is really synonymous with the word “power” Jurisdiction is the territory within which a court or government agency may properly exercise its power

It is not difficult to understand that when the the lines of authority are blended power will default to the higher level.

Agency protectiveness over jurisdiction and it is the authority an entity has over that jurisdiction that is the real barrier.  Simply stated, the problem with integrating data systems is not a physical or technical one; it’s political. Until recently, the barrier was both political and technological.  Now that the technological barrier has been removed, some think that the political barrier should follow suit.  But just because something is possible does it mean we should do it?

“National employment databases, national medical databases, national criminal databases, and others have already been created.

The dream is to blend all these separate resources into a single centralized one…the only real impediments to creating the database that now remain are political and cultural: the stubborn assumption of so many Americans that they have rights.”

The State’s Quest for Total Information Awareness by David M. Brown

In the past, the technological or physical barrier acted as sort of a firewall to siloes of data.  Data was shared on a legal right and need to know basis and  the entity wanting it had to ask.  While technology makes it possible to share lots of information in an instant with anyone in the world, there are still plenty of good reasons to protect sensitive  information.

If you really, really want to settle this whole argument about whether or not fusion centers are state of federal, just read about Homeland Security’s Federal Fusion Center initiative.

In 2010 The Department of Homeland Security announced its intention to;

“collect, plan, coordinate, report, analyze, and fuse infrastructure information related to all-threats and all-hazards, law enforcement activities, intelligence activities, man-made disasters and acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other information collected or received from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies and organizations; foreign governments and international organizations; domestic security and emergency management officials; and private sector entities or individuals into the Department.”

The DHS is creating a federal fusion center by ‘fusing’ information from the   centers.  DHS is laying claim to all of that data to use as they see fit.

The Department of Homeland Security has repeatedly stated that Fusion Centers were  owned by the states, the creation of this new system of records action totally negates that dubious claim.   They didn’t ask anyone’s permission.  Why?  Because they paid the bills, they set the rules and they own the house.  The states are a  “partner” up until the federal government decided they weren’t.

Fusion Centers, for all practical intents and purposes, belongs to none other than Big Momma Gov. and if anyone tells you different,  grab a pitcher because their pants are on fire!


Super Duper License Plate Snoopers-Federal Grants for Texas Spy Drones

Kaye Beach

Nov. 16, 2011

If they can use ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) then they can use facial recognition too.  And if they can do something-you can bet your bottom dollar that they will do it.

Drone Gives Texas Law Enforcement Bird’s-Eye View on Crime

By

Published November 16, 2011 | FoxNews.com

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is weeks away from launching an unmanned aerial asset to help deputies fight crime. The ShadowHawk helicopter is six-feet long, weighs fifty pounds and fits in the back of an SUV.

“We can put it over a fire, put it over ahazmat spill, put it over a house with a suspect barricaded inside and literally give the incident commander the ability to look at the entire scene with a bird’s eye view, ” Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel said.

Sheriff’s deputies will fly the ShadowHawk with nothing more than a laptop computer and a remote control similar to that used for video games.

It’s equipped with an infrared camera that can clearly read a license plate from an elevation of twelve hundred feet. The helicopter cost upwards of $300,000 and was purchased with a grant from the federal government.

Read More

Also see this article mentioning facial recognition;

European Dispatch November 16, 2011

America Edges to Brink of Armed Police Drones

But police have been known to dodge these guidelines by flying drones over public protests where members of certain political movements are known to gather. Activists on the left and right assume the police want to collect mass photographic information of people in political movements, including portraits to run through facial-recognition software.

Pay Attention to This One! Oklahoma Fourth Committee Meeting on Federal Healthcare Reform

Kaye Beach

Nov. 1, 2011

Those of us in Oklahoma who want to retain our privacy and control over our medical care should pay attention to the fourth joint legislative committee meeting on the effects of healthcare reform.   The fourth meeting, scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd, 2011, will be held at the Tulsa Technology Center, Riverside Campus.

Amanda Teegarden, Executive Director of OK-SAFE, Inc., is one of the scheduled presenters on that date, addressing the technology, security & privacy concerns associated with the implementation of health care reform.

She will be presenting some very interesting facts about Oklahoma healthcare reform system as constructed so far and illustrate why we should not go any further on this unconstitutional federal monstrosity of a mandate.

Amanda Teegarden is a crack researcher with the perspective of an ordinary taxpaying Oklahoman. Every freedom loving Oklahoman ought to pay very close attention to the information brought forth by her presentation this Thursday.

Here is one glimpse of what is in store for us if our state does not take care to protect the interests of Oklahoma citizens from the federal takeover of our healthcare.

Obamacare HHS rule would give government everybody’s health records

By: Rep. Tim Huelskamp | 09/23/11 3:29 PM
OpEd Contributor
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has proposed that medical records of all Americans be turned over to the federal government by private health insurers.

It’s been said a thousand times: Congress had to pass President Obama’s  health care law in order to find out what’s in it. But, despite the repetitiveness, the level of shock from each new discovery never seems to recede.

This time, America is learning about the federal government’s plan to collect and aggregate confidential patient records for every one of us

Read more

Raw patient claims data, demographic data, prescription drug utilization data. . .this is individualized, specific, sensitive information about you going into a federal database!

 

 

 

 

Read more and watch the press conference held by Congressman Huelskamp about this outrage here

There OK legislature has created a website detailing these meetings: www.okhealthcare.info – check for meeting details, including presentations.

Republican Heresy? Get a R.O.P.E!

Kaye Beach

Oct 19, 2011

Jenni White, President of R.O.P.E (Restore Oklahoma Public Education) asks;

Am I A Republican Heretic?       

Why would she ask such a thing?

ROPE endorsed Republican Janet Barresi for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Many of us actually campaigned for her.

White believed like many other Republicans that Barresi would be a better choice for conservatives dissatisfied with the decidedly leftist direction of public education than Democrat, Susan Paddock.  That logic is straightforward enough but has it held up in reality.

Unfortunately, that answer is no.

ROPE lists just some of the items that evidence reason for conservative disappointment.

I took the time to watch the videos of the Oklahoma interim study on the Common Core State Standards held a couple of weeks ago and what I found most amazing is the behavior of Ms. Baressi herself.

If you did not know, the ladies from ROPE are ordinary Oklahomans who have invested a great deal of time, care and energy in serving as a watchdog for busy moms and dads.  They have devoted no less than one year to the research that was presented at the interim study.  They do all of this one reason.  They care about this state and the children of this state.  The ladies of ROPE do not get paid to lobby, study legislation or present their findings to the policy makers and the public.  I feel safe in stating that these women do not expect any thanks for their advocacy but I am sure they do not deserve the disrespect demonstrated by Baressi.

An interim study is just that-a study.  Ideally all sides of an issue should be aired and policy makers get the opportunity to ask questions.  Barresi showed claws and precious little to refute any of the facts brought before the panel. It was poor form on her part to say the least.  Barresi responded to the ROPE presentation and by extension, since she was presenting similar facts, the presentation of a Senior Policy Analyst with the Heritage Foundation, with a sweeping dismissal.  “We are all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts”

Barresi did take the opportunity during her remarks to say that the Common Core State Standards are not mandated by the federal government.

“This is a state led, voluntary effort” says Baressi

http://www.youtube.com/user/RestoreOKPublicEd#p/u/6/z4-FstHrXbk

State led?    Two national, non-governmental organizations, The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, developed the standards behind closed doors.

“State led”, especially when coupled with the word “standards” really means federally controlled.  It’s just that the states are being good little troopers and doing Big Momma Gov’s work for her.

Barresi is simply mincing her words.  The old ‘carrot and stick method’  is being employed with nationalizing education just as we have seen with every other sector of our society.

Utah’s Republic asks; “Still think the Common Core Standards are just a state initiative? Ask yourself these questions and think again.” And shares some valuable insight;

  1. What do you call it when standards are adopted from a national body and a state isn’t allowed to modify anything they just adopted except to add up to 15%? De facto federal/national standards
  2. What do you call it when national assessments funded by the federal government and led by a Marxist researcher will measure the effectiveness of common core standards? National assessments overseeing national standards
  3. What do you call it when national tracking is done on both academic and non-academic factors to ensure that students are scoring well on these assessments? A massive violation of privacy and national assessments and standards
  4. What do you call it when the federal government engages with textbook publishers to create curriculum based on common standards? A national curriculum and national standards
  5. What do you call it when federal dollars for state education come from countries like China and states like California? Immoral because our grandchildren will pay for their parents education
  6. What do you call it when the federal department of education rewrites the laws on the books to eliminate and redirect local and state control of education to the federal government? Tyranny and national control of education
  7. What do you call it when state officials and agencies fail to connect the dots on these items? A tragic lack of foresight

Barresi offers nothing but her ire to refute the opposing presentations which is a sure sign that she is up against the wall and cannot form a rational argument to the facts that were presented.

The debate over federal coercion with the Common Core Standards is a lively one to put it mildly, but suffice it to say that with adopting the Common Core State Standards comes more federal control over our schools than any conservative ought to be comfortable with.

And this leads us back to Jenni White’s question;

Am I A Republican Heretic?       

If Republicanism is a religion that operates on faith in whoever happens to pin an “R” by their name, then the answer is; Yes my dear, you are.